Shorena Gudzhabidze is a 4th year Bachelor’s student in Civil Engineering at Vilnius Tech. But that is only half the story, because she also works as a 3D Design Engineer at Staticus, having successfully completed an internship here. She has now been working at Staticus for 6 months, so we caught up with Shorena to see how she is finding her job, and to learn more about how her internship helped both her studies and her career.
When did you complete your internship at Staticus, and why did you decide to apply?
I did my internship in the Spring of 2022. In my Civil Engineering programme at Vilnius Tech there is a practical credit where you complete an internship.
I moved from Georgia to Vilnius to study, and since coming here I was aware of Staticus as a leading company in Lithuania. When thinking about my internship, I did some research into what I can become as a Civil Engineer. What direction did I want my career to go in?
I realised that the spectrum was very wide. I also discovered that façade engineering is a very interesting sphere. As engineers, we often have a narrow perspective of what we can do. But with façade engineering you get to interact with the architectural side, there is a lot of innovation, and your job is to merge every part of the building together as a whole.
What were your responsibilities and duties during the internship?
During my internship, my team and I put together a programme for me to go through. It covered the basics of 3D design engineering.
My first task was to design components, including mullions and transoms. Then I had to work on how to merge them into a whole. I also worked on managing the materials schedule for a project, taking into account operations in the factory. When I compare my experience to that of my classmates, I can see that my experience was quite wide.
The project I worked on that I found most interesting was the North Zealand Hospital in Denmark. Architecturally, it is very interesting. It features a wooden façade, which is still quite rare, although they are gradually becoming more popular. They are very innovative, and you need to think a lot about ventilation, water resistance, and ensuring long-lasting performance.
It was great that I could work on a project like this during my internship. Usually as an intern, companies will only give you a small or insignificant task. Here they gave me responsibilities and allowed me to work on an important project – it is Staticus’ first project in Denmark and was their largest ever when the contract was signed. I have been fortunate enough to continue working on it now I am employed.
Do you feel that the team provided you with support during the internship?
The team I worked with deserves a gold medal. During my internship, I understood that university doesn’t give you enough knowledge that is suitable for actual working life. I was asking a lot of questions and, of course, making mistakes. The team was very patient. What’s more, they had real teaching skills, which is hard to find. To have people who were willing to share their knowledge, and intelligent enough to be able to explain a complex topic to the youngest and least experienced person in the room was great. They also treated me like an adult and gave me responsibility.
You’ve now been at Staticus for 9 months (including your internship and work). How would you define our company culture?
The internal culture is very team-oriented. From my first day here, it was clear that people are the number one priority. For example, the process for the internships is perfected. Everything goes very smoothly and is well thought through.
I would also say the teamwork and cooperation is next level in Staticus. Everyone knows how to work effectively together. And there is just a friendly and positive atmosphere. Whether it is going for coffee or lunch, or discussing a complex situation to find the best solution, it feels like a big family.
Then the culture looking outward is very client-focused. Staticus prioritises doing whatever is possible to realise the client’s vision – time, creativity, innovation, whatever it takes.
Would you recommend an internship at Staticus to others? Why?
Definitely yes. And the reason is because of the company culture. In my opinion, your experience is dependent on others, the people who will welcome you and help you. At Staticus, your team leads and colleagues – even those from other departments – are happy and ready to share.
I would also add that access to information is amazing for a newcomer. There is an internal platform where people share their knowledge, lessons learned, mistakes, and solutions. It is very valuable for someone who is learning.
How do you see your future in Staticus?
Well, after completing my internship I decided to stay on so I applied for an open position. I completed my 3 month trial and now have a position. So, I’m currently completing my studies and working at the same time.
Over the roughly half a year I have been working here I have gained skills and knowledge. One thing that excites me about the future is that at Staticus you have the opportunity to change departments whenever you want. So I don’t need to worry about how the future Shorena will feel. If I get fed up with 3D design (which, by the way, I don’t think I will) I can change to something else.
What would you wish for students who are hesitant to apply for an internship at Staticus?
I would say don’t hesitate. Be brave, try new things and challenge yourself, because challenges bring cool things into your life.